Eating Southern on a Calorie Budget

My family is from Georgia. Even though I grew up in California, I spent most of my summers and vacations there. I loved eating my grandmother’s and aunt’s good cooking. As I grew up, I realized that all that good cooking came with a calorie paycheck.

That doesn’t mean I was going to give up enjoying my favorites. It just meant I had to make some adjustments to how and when I ate all that good food. Now I’m coming up with recipes that make the adjustments for me.

Here is a great example. When making a creamy grits recipe, I would typically use heavy cream. To save a few calories I switched to half-and half. If fat isn’t what you worry about or if you’re trying lessen your dairy, you could use coconut cream. It will add a touch of sweetness, so you may want to add some hot sauce to the mix.
I hope you will enjoying adding this southern classic to your regular rotation.

As always let me know what you think and send me pictures of your dishes. Please follow me on Instagram @whiskinthesouthern.

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Healthy-ish Shrimp & Grits

I love shrimp & grits, but it can be really rich and sometimes heavy. This my lightened up version, so I can eat it all the time!
Course: Middles
Cuisine: American


  • 3 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1-1/2 cups Stone-ground Grits uncooked
  • 1 Tbs. Avocado Oil
  • 1 cup Chopped Onion I like a medium fine chop
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 cups roasted, diced tomatoes you can use canned
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce you may be able to find a low salt version
  • 1/2 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 1 Lb. Large Shrimp (31/40),peeled no deveined
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. Half-and-half you can also use coconut cream
  • 3 ea. Scallions, sliced thinly
  • 6 shakes Hot Sauce use a good Southern one


  • In a medium saucepan, bring chicken broth and water to a boil. Whisk in the grits and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook form 5 minutes.
    Remove lid and give a quick stir. Cover again and remove from heat. Leave covered until ready to use. At least 20 minutes.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet, add onion and cook until soft and transparent about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
    Stir in tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 Tbs. butter. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted.
    Add shrimp and cook until just pink, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add most of the Parmesan (leave enough to garnish when serving), half-and-half, remaining butter and remaking salt. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  • To serve: divide evenly among 6 bowls. Top with shrimp and tomato mixture. Sprinkle with scallions and remaining Parmesan. Give each bowl a shake of the hot sauce. Make sure to put the sauce on the table, too

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